Iranian Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani noted the importance of expanding Tehran-Havana relations saying both countries must come together to confront unilateralism of “the big power” -- an obvious reference to the U.S.
In a disquieting development, Castro visited Tehran in November where he given sacred Islamic texts in Spanish and was invited by Iran’s religious leadership to convert to Islam. “We spoke to Castro for several hours and I think we even almost managed to convince him to convert to Islam,” said one source close to the meeting. “Castro is certain that the Cuban people are suffering from a lack of spiritually, and seems interested in Islam, above all the writings of Iranian leader Khomeini,” the source said. More here at Front Page
Pakistan to stand by Iran in case of aggression:
Head of Egypt's rising political force echoes Iran leader, says Holocaust myth
Kyrgyzstan supports Iran's nuclear activity:
Venezuelan President Chavez: “The descendants of the Christ-killers” control the world.
The "Bush Doctrine" stated plainly that there would be no distinction between terrorists and those who harbor them, Ahmadinejad has stated his intentions plainly. Who is with him? Get your checklist out. The boil off the Florida Coast is festering.
The Iran Charade, Part II - Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post)
- Britain, France, and Germany admitted that their two years of talks to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program had collapsed. This negotiating exercise, designed as an alternative to the U.S. approach of imposing sanctions on Iran for its violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, gave Iran time to harden its nuclear facilities against bombardment, acquire new antiaircraft capacities and clandestinely advance its program.
- Instead of being years away from the point of no return for an Iranian bomb, as we were before we allowed Europe to divert anti-proliferation efforts into transparently useless talks, Iran is probably just months away, and now led by a president who fervently believes in the imminence of the apocalypse.
- Having delayed two years, we now have to deal with a set of fanatical Islamists who we know will not be deterred from pursuing nuclear weapons by any sanctions. Even if we could get real sanctions. Which we will not.
- The Chinese in particular have secured in Iran a source of oil and gas outside the American sphere to feed their growing economy and are quite happy geopolitically to support a rogue power that - like North Korea - threatens, distracts, and diminishes the power of China's chief global rival, the United States.
- The Europeans have no appetite for real sanctions either. A cutoff of investment and high-tech trade from Europe would be a minor irritant to a country of 70 million people with the second-largest oil reserves in the world and with oil at $60 a barrel. It is the Iranians who have the world over a barrel. On Jan. 15, Iran's economy minister warned that Iran would retaliate for any sanctions by cutting its exports to "raise oil prices beyond levels the West expects.
Iran confident of escaping Security Council referral
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said there was only a "weak" chance of his country being referred to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme.